Eluding a Police Officer and Reckless Driving
The defendant was charged with felony Eluding a Police Officer and Reckless Driving. The charges resulted out of an incident wherein the defendant had rented a sporty car and was testing its limits on a highway. The defendant admittedly was speeding and the traffic conditions on the roadway made his speed unsafe. A police officer saw the defendant's driving and engaged in an effort to overtake the defendant and pull him over. It took a minute or two for the officer to catch up to the defendant and, upon seeing the officer's lights, the defendant pulled over. The defendant was subsequently cited for the above offenses. The defendant pled to a misdemeanor elude and reckless driving. He received bench probation and was required to do some community service and a 90 day license suspension.
"After feeling inadequately represented by his previous attorney, my client sought to retain me. This was a tricky case because there was ample evidence to establish the reckless driving. However, my client adamantly denied trying to elude the police officer. My client also couldn't get a felony conviction or it would have massive repercussions in his life going forward - both personally and professionally. After I got involved in the case I did a thorough review of the discovery and had several discussions with the DA about the inappropriateness of the felony elude charge. Our position in this case was that the Eluding charge was not justified and was defensible at trial. My client was prepared to plead guilty to reckless driving but did not want to plead to the Elude. We were prepared to take the case to trial but the DA made an offer to reduce the felony elude to a misdemeanor. Although we felt that our chances of beating the elude charge at trial were pretty good my client ultimately decided that since he was already going to suffer a misdemeanor reckless driving it didn't make sense to risk getting convicted of the felony elude since the DA was willing to reduce the charge. This is a great example of another case in which people are "threatened" to giving up their rights out of fear of the uncertainty of trial. My client was pleased with the outcome because it was better than he had previously been offered - but we were both a little sour about the circumstances and having to swallow pleading to the elude at all."
Jackson County, Oregon
Be advised that I never promise a client a particular outcome, details of prior cases should not be taken as an indication that other clients will necessarily see the same results.